SAM TUDOR



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Painterly glass-flat water shattered by a little brother diving - no, somersaulting - in. Boyish announcements and motley proclamations. Wet dogs. Dad's in the workshop, scheming and thinking bigger. Mom and a chorus of young fiddles, not quite but soon to be in tune. Gravel gripping ground, on the move under the dusted tires of visitors from concrete streets.
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Glowing coals and vapour in the sauna...lungs filled with heat and wet air and calm. A trail remembers the red cheeks of third grade cherubs skiing across country: squealing and giggling in elastic hazards of speed.
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Pots and plates meet wood as the dinner table is set against the sound of pages turning - no commercials here. The satisfaction of a pulsing-full firebox. Meal time conversation about this topic...then that. Taking turns laughing at and with each other. An after-dinner skate. Maybe snowflakes. Maybe an open cloudless star-scape.
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Maybe not like this at all. Nothing is this idyllic, right? But then again, knowing the Tudor family, the type of family who should probably be studied and then reproduced in labs, maybe its not that far off. And even if that quaint little portrait is only, say, 41% true... and though any a portrait I could paint of Sam as a young man might gloss over the inevitable blunders and bummers, I'd have to say that the fellow has lived, thus far, a life dotted with the satisfying markers of accomplishment.
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Having grown up in a beautifully wild setting and an intellectually stimulating home full of care and attention to the varieties of his development, one might get the sense that things just magically click as if out of some universal necessity for the guy. But that's not the case. The guy pores over his work, doubting his choices and then doubting his doubt in what comes perilously close to an infinite regress of critical self-consciousness.
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Perhaps that's the gift of his upbringing, a catalogue of character traits that encourage a bro to walk the path in spite of cold feet. With back pages such as his, Sam might feel the need to atone, do penance, confess...or even just disclose. And while many people are born into fecund circumstances, not all can own their privilege and be able to address it.
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While Quotidian Dream is about this and that thing, there is a narrative thread connecting the pieces. One might even call it a concept record (though Sam would likely think it pretentious to call it that...so lets just call it "an album interwoven by the organizational thread of concept"...far less pretentious, no?). How about an alternative title for this conceptually threaded album: Everyday Things That, When Noticed, Inspire Guilt and, Thankfully, This Record. And isn't there just an endless procession of everyday things?
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While income inequality is widening enough to make chasms blush, a fellow dresses well, buys a beer now and then, and puts new strings on his guitar. Strum strum, hum de dum.

While the oceans are nearing total collapse, a fellow finds fish and chips abundantly available. Crunch...crunch.

While emissions continue in an un-taped feedback loop, a fellow hops in his car to go see a show. Vroooom.

While vast swathes of the population scramble to find a platform to speak of their oppression, a fellow finds venues for his voice. Blah blah...blah.

While many bloody the ground with ailing feet on pilgrimages in search of refuge, a northern fellow ponders a vacation. Aloha aina...

While many (like half or so) find themselves in a cultural space of objectification, degradation, and exploitation, a fellow puts in his ear buds and goes out, dauntless, for a late night stroll. Ah, the citys beauty at night...

While a fellow knows that he embodies privilege, he sees so many others who are like him act as though they are under some pernicious attack. Gwwaaah, what about us?

While a fellow's mind is overwhelmed by the abundance and its squandering, he can bear witness to the awful normalcy of this process every minute of any typical, banal afternoon. Yawn.

While all of this is going on outside, a fellow wants refuge in the comfortable dark of his quarters, struggling with an obligation he feels to be an artist and say something worthwhile. ...What do I say?...

While all of these things (Dear, all of the things) are levelled just so as to convince a fellow that what he has to say really doesnt need to be said, that he doesnt deserve to say it because he may feel he lacks the artists requisite burdens, that he, like you, like me, might as well just shut the fuck up...in spite of all this, thankfully, Sam Tudor has put out this record...

And, like we did with Snail Mail, Animals and Arson, and The Modern New Year, we get to smile and sing guiltlessly because there is a reprieve in the purity of these songs, in the guileless melodic joyfulness, in the refreshing sense of discovery, and in the virtue we see in others who speak, vulnerably, from the heart.

See you at the show. Try to pick me out from all the other shelter-seekers feeling good for floating on a buoyant melody.

Brent Morton
March, 2017